Cryotherapy: What the Research Says
What the Research Says
Effects of Cryotherapy on Autoimmune Diseases and Rheumatic Diseases
– Local cryotherapy (1 session) was effective at lowering body temperature in order to reduce edema, inflammation, hematoma formation, pain, and symptoms of arthritis.
– Whole body cryotherapy (1 session) temporarily relieves symptoms of pain in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis.
– Whole body cryotherapy is an effective option in the concept of treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The relief of pain allows an intensification of physical therapy. A significant reduction of pain was found when performing an average of 15 whole body cryotherapy treatments over a period of 2 months.
– Whole body cryotherapy (10 sessions) significantly suppressed oxidative stress in multiple sclerosis patients, especially in depressed patients.
– Whole body cryotherpy (10 sessions) produced a significant increase of total antioxidant status levels in plasma of multiple sclerosis patients. Reactive oxygen species and subsequent oxidative damage may contribute to the formation and persistence of multiple sclerosis lesions by acting on distinct pathological processes. Therefore, this indicates that cryotherapy might be a therapy, which suppresses oxidative stress in multiple sclerosis patients.
Whole body cryotherapy (9 sessions) was found to be an effective therapeutic agent in the multimodal treatment concept for inflammatory rheumatic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.
– Whole body cryotherapy and localized cryotherapy (~15 sessions) both reduced pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
– The beneficial clinical effects of whole body cryotherapy (~28 sessions) in rheumatoid arthritis patients are in part due to the action of the production, release or degradation of histamine.
– Whole body cryotherapy, performed over 4 weeks, significantly reduces pain in patients with rheumatic diseases and considered by patients to be an essential part of their rehabilitation program.
– The use of whole body cryotherapy as a component of comprehensive therapy in patients with ankylosing spondylitis produces significant improvements in spinal mobility after 10 sessions.
Effects of Cryotherapy on Inflammation and Pain
– Whole body cryotherapy (5 to 20 sessions) effectively decreases inflammation. Specifically, the levels of ani-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 were increased.
Whole body cryoptherapy (4 sessions) was effective in reducing the inflammatory process. The results may be explained by vasoconstriction at the muscular level, and both the decrease in cytokines pro-inflammatory activity and increase in cytokines anti-inflammatory activity.
– Whole body and local treatment cryotherapy (1 session of each) increases the production of catecholemines that reduce inflammation.
– The main finding was the sustained stimulation of norepinephrine after whole body cryotherapy sessions (36 sessions). This frequent increase in norepinephrine is linked to having a major role in pain alleviation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18382932
– Whole body cryotherapy (10 sessions) revealed a slight decrease of the inflammatory states in patients with lower back pain.
– Cryotherapy was found to be associated with a reduction in the intensity of the inflammatory response and also with a decrease in mitochondrial dysfunction.
– Whole body cryotherapy (20 sessions) applied together with physical therapy was effective in reducing pressure pain in the ligaments and tension in pelvic muscle pain syndromes (i.e. pain in lumbo-sacral, pelvis and lower extremities).
– Local and whole body cryotherapy effectively decreases soft tissue temperature, relieves pain, reduces inflammation, reduces swelling, improves range of motion and reduces muscle spasm.
– Local cryotherapy effectively relieves muscle pain.
– Whole body cryotherapy (~14 or more sessions) reduces pain and swelling, causes skeletal muscle relaxation, increase skeletal muscle force and increases range of motion range in treated joints. Thus, cryotherapy seems to fulfill all necessary conditions for rehabilitation in subjects with osteoporosis.
– Whole body cryotherapy (36 sessions) causes a significant release of norepinephrine that may be the major role player in relieving pain.
Effects of Cryotherapy on Sports Performance
– The effects of whole body cryotherapy (10 sessions) on sports performance, inflammation and recovery.
– The effects of whole body cryotherapy (9 sessions) on recovery from running.
– The effects of a single bout of whole body cryotherapy on maximal intensity short-term bike performance.
– The effects of whole body cryotherapy (5 session) on inflammation after severe exercise.
– Whole body cryotherapy (~20 sessions) improves the antioxidant activity of athletes exposed to intense exercise.
– Whole body cryotherapy (10 session) can be beneficial for increasing anaerobic capacity in sport disciplines involving speed and strength.
– The oxidative stress induced by kayak training was reduced by prior exposure to whole body cryotherapy (10 sessions).
– Whole body cryotherapy (5 sessions) is effective at preventing anemia in athletes, which is a common risk for them.
Effects of Cryotherapy on Anxiety and Depression
– Immediately after a whole body cryotherapy treatment, apart from the well known analgesic effect, changes in patients’ mental state were detected such as improvement of mood, deep relaxation, freshening up, consolation and euphoria.
– The findings from this study indicate a possible role for whole body cryotherapy (15 sessions) as a short-term adjuvant treatment for mood and anxiety disorders.
– Whole body cryotherapy treatments (15 sessions) significantly reduced the severity of depressive and anxiety symptoms and increased life satisfaction.
– Whole body cryotherapy (10 sessions) was found to significantly help in alleviating depression symptoms.
Non-Harmful Effects of Cryotherapy on the Body
– Cryotherapy effects on sports performance and not being harmful to athletes.
– Whole body cryotherapy (36 sessions) seems not to be harmful for lung function, but should be used with caution in susceptible individuals.
– Whole body cryotherapy treatments (36 sessions) for healthy females do not lead to disorders related to altered secretions of growth hormone, prolactin, thyrotropin or thyroid hormones.
– Whole body cryotherapy (7 sessions) did not impair the heart function of athletes when performed with their regular training workload.
– Diseases in which cryotherapy is used for, affects of cryotherapy on the human body, and who should not perform cryotherapy
Other Benefits and Effects of Cryotherapy on the Body
– After one whole body cryotherapy session, antioxidant activity was significantly was elevated.
– Review of literature: The effects of whole body cryotherapy on body temperature, thermal sensation, comfort ratings, blood pressure, heart rate variability, antioxidant activity and neuromuscular performance.
– Whole body cryotherapy can improve the transmission of nerve signals in muscles to contract.
– Whole body cryotherapy (10 sessions) was found to mobilize the immune system. An increase in white blood cells, interleukin-6 and antioxidant activity was found by researchers.
– Cryotherpay decreases the burden of four chemotherapy-induced complications and is well tolerated.
– Treatment of tinnitus may be effective by using whole-body cryotherapy (10 sessions).
– Whole body cryotherapy (10 sessions) significantly decreased LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).